Celestial Lions

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Celestial Lions
Celestial Lions Livery.png
Battle Cry "We are the Emperor's pride. Hear us roar!"
Founding Sometime in the 38th Millennium
Successors of Imperial Fists
Chapter Master Ekene Dubaku
Primarch Rogal Dorn
Homeworld Elysium IX
Strength Less than 95, rebuilding
Specialty Messing with the Inquisition, flanking tactics
Allegiance Imperium
Colours Gold, with blue helmet and pauldrons.

Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults,
whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
- The Bible, Proverbs 9:7 (New International Version)

The Celestial Lions (calling them "Celestial Loins" would be a joke in poor taste, given their tremendous losses of late) are a chapter of Space Marines in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. They are an object lesson of what happens to people who try and mess with the Inquisition without serious backup (like being a First Founding chapter). It is unknown if the Inquisition is going to survive the return object lesson of what happens to those who fuck with the Space Marines. Especially Space Marines who are now best-buds with the Black Templars.

Chapter Culture[edit]

The Celestial Lions are a very brotherly, compassionate chapter with a prominent African spin on their culture. Given their dark skin and fraternal nature, one might be suspicious about their supposed descent from Dorn's line, but this chapter culture mainly comes from the fact that they only recruit from the warrior tribes of the world Elysium IX. As they all come from a culture that values community, legacy, and courage, all the Lions hold those values as paramount. More than most other chapters, their world's culture holds sway in their conduct. The Lions are very informal to those within their own ranks, with even basic battle brothers talking to their superiors as brothers and equals, though they are disciplined on the battlefield and they show great respect to the officers of other forces, particularly the other sons of Dorn. Another quirk of their chapter culture is the value they place on storytelling and the great respect they give to talented storytellers. Within their chapter it is common for a squad to gather and tell stories of their heroes and their own exploits before an engagement. If an outsider is present in one of their ships or bases the visitor is expected to pay for their "food and fire" by telling a story from their own people's legends or that individuals exploits and as such they love serving alongside guardsman for the stories they tell. Though they are very different from their typical grim cousin chapters, they are proud sons of Dorn through and through.

Clash with the Inquisition[edit]

The Celestial Lions came into conflict with the Inquisition during the pacification of the world Khattar. Khattar was a Shrine World with a large, faithful population. When the upper echelons of the priesthood fell into worship of the Ruinous Powers an Inquisitor Lord by the name of Apollyon (which is the Greek equivalent of "Destroyer" ie. Abaddon) called for an Imperial Navy blockade of the world in addition to Astartes support, a call that the Celestial Lions answered. After months of brutal fighting the Celestial Lions managed to cut the head off the local heretic priests and with that, the world's population lost the will to fight and surrendered to the Astartes. As the Lions were withdrawing, Inquisitor Apollyon decided that since the priesthood had been corrupt, the surrendering and repentant civilian population must also be corrupt, so he ordered Exterminatus on the planet. The Lions were not fucking amused. After Apollyon refused to be held accountable for the senseless massacre, saying it was necessary, the Lions sent a Strike Cruiser with a delegation of Deathspeakers and Warleaders (Chaplains and Captains, respectively) to Holy Terra with the intention of entreating the High Lords of Terra to call the Inquisition to task over what they'd done. The ship was discovered two years later in Ork-controlled space, with nobody left alive in it and nowhere even close to its intended destination.

Third War for Armageddon[edit]

Fast-forward to the Third War for Armageddon. The entire chapter was deployed to a single hive, and thanks to spectacularly bad intelligence they ended up outnumbered, unsupported, and taking heavy losses at every battle, culminating in a mission in which the supposedly inactive Gargants they were sent to destroy proved to have been lying in wait for them along with several Ork warbands backing them up- all of which had apparently been warned of the Lions' planned attack some time beforehand. Matters came to a head when "Ork snipers" managed to take out most of the survivors (especially the Apothecaries), and their last Apothecary was found dead next to the Chapter's last Land Raider (having been shot through the head with a lasgun at point blank range and the gene-seed he was carrying stolen), leaving them without any means to recover the gene-seed from their fallen. The remaining 95 Lions realized that they had been marked for death and decided that they would fight off all the Orks on Armageddon or die trying, and contacted Chaplain Grimaldus of the Black Templars to administer their last rites, but he insisted that the remainder of the Chapter could still restore its honour (and thus be allowed to leave) by slaying the warlord leading the Ork forces in the area. To support his weakened cousins Grimaldus used his influence as the 'Hero of Helsreach' to get support from several regiments of Imperial Guard. While much of the remaining forces of the Celestial Lions were wiped out in the attack, they were successful in redeeming themselves when Ekene Dubaku killed the Orkish Warlord with Grimaldus's help. Ekene, the Lion's only surviving Pride Leader (i.e. Squad Sergeant) was then named the new Chapter Master and given a couple of parting gifts by High Marshal Helbrecht himself: a suit of relic Imperial Fists power armor dating back to the Great Crusade along with a matching Relic Blade and the Strike Cruiser Blade of the Seventh Son.

Ultimate Fate[edit]

The Lions are now working to rebuild with the help of a temporary detachment of Black Templar specialists, including some apothecaries and techmarines. Though it'll be hard considering there's less than ninety-five of them left, another Imperial Fists successor chapter recovered from near-extinction in less than a century after being reduced to 12 Marines in total. Plus, while the Inquisition may get away with bullying later-founded chapters, it would be tantamount to suicide for anyone to mess with the largest space marine legion chapter excluding the Dark Angels. Of course, the Inquisition oh-so foolishly forgot that the other Chapters, especially within their legion, would want to know what the hell happened anyway. Either way, messing with any Space Marine Chapter is the single dumbest thing you can do. Ever. As a certain Craftworld learned. Being an Inquisitor also won't help you because anyone you could go to for help views the Astartes as semi-divine beings and would execute the Inquisitor rather than help them.

With the Indomitus Crusade going on. It's more than likely Guilliman sent some Primaris Marines to rebuild the Lions.


  • "Ork Snipers" has since become slang for Vindicare assassins, or more generally for any implausible cover story for an Inquisition action.
  • Celestial Lions officers will paint intricate star charts on their armour, often times depicting a system or sector where he won his title or made some significant personal contribution to a campaign, and this right is also occasionally given to non-officers as an honor for courage or skill. The chapter master paints the blue parts of his armour with the star charts of his chapter's home sector. This intricate colour scheme makes Celestial Lion's officers FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE TO PAINT I MEAN, EMPEROR DAMN IT. You'll need a steady hand for these guys.
    • You know who else have golden armour, blue details and star patterns? Hammers of Sigmar. Funny, huh?
  • Also, "Ekene Dubaku" is a badass as fuck name.
  • They love catnip


Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes
First Founding: Blood Angels - Dark Angels - Imperial Fists - Iron Hands - Raven Guard
Salamanders - Space Wolves - Ultramarines - White Scars
Second Founding: Angels of Absolution - Angels Encarmine - Angels of Redemption - Angels of Vengeance
Angels Sanguine - Angels Vermillion - Aurora Chapter - Black Guard - Black Templars
Blood Drinkers - Crimson Fists - Doom Eagles - Excoriators - Fists Exemplar - Flesh Tearers
Genesis Chapter - Iron Snakes - Mortifactors - Novamarines - Red Talons - Raptors
Soul Drinkers - Storm Lords - Wolf Brothers
Third Founding: Executioners - Scythes of the Emperor
Fourth to Eighth Founding: Howling Griffons - Marines Malevolent - Night Swords - Sons of Guilliman
Eighth Founding: Mantis Warriors
Tenth Founding: Astral Claws
Thirteenth Founding: Death Spectres - Exorcists
Twenty-First Founding: Black Dragons - Fire Hawks - Flame Falcons - Lamenters - Minotaurs - Sons of Antaeus
Twenty-Second Founding: Fire Claws/Relictors - Steel Confessors
Twenty-Third Founding: Marines Errant - Star Phantoms
Twenty-Fourth Founding: Celestial Lions - Disciples of Caliban
Twenty-Fifth Founding: Angels of Vigilance - Fire Angels
Twenty-Sixth Founding: Mentors
Ultima Founding: Blades of Vengeance - Knights of the Chalice - Fulminators - Rift Stalkers - Storm Reapers
Unknown Founding: Astral Knights - Blood Ravens - Blood Swords - Celebrants - Emperor's Spears - Fire Lords
Guardians of the Covenant - Hammers of Dorn - Invaders - Knights of Blood
Rainbow Warriors - Red Scorpions - Sable Swords - Solar Hawks - Space Sharks - Silver Skulls
Storm Wardens - Valedictors - Vorpal Swords
Unsanctioned Founding: Consecrators - Sons of Medusa
Chambers Millitant: Deathwatch - Grey Knights
Astartes Praeses: Black Consuls - Excoriators - Fire Claws/Relictors
Night Watch - Subjugators - Viper Legion - White Consuls